Matthew 5:11-12 (NKJV) 11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
The word “revile” means “to reproach which is “to accuse of” or “to blame. for a fault.” To “make one feel ashamed,” to “condemned severely.”
1 Peter 4: 12-14 says, Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial, which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice? to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you also may be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part, He is blasphemed, but on your part, He is glorified.
Warren W. Wiersbe says much of what goes on in the world depends on lies, pride, pleasure, and the desire “to get more.” A dedicated Christian builds his life on truth, humility, holiness, and the desire to glorify God.
Remember the story of Cain and Able in Genesis 4:3-8? And in the process of time, it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry. Cain was a religious man, yet the Scriptures say … Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. 1 John 3:12 explains why Cain murdered his brother Cain. Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.
Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven. Matthew 6:19-20 says Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where both and rust destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. It doesn’t mean that your reward is only reserved in heaven.
The Interpreter’s Bible says “The reasons and rewards which Jesus offered are as startling as the way of life proposed” … Our protest is really against a doctrine of earthy, selfish, and godless rewards. It is a proper protest: To the true follower of Christ, such rewards would be punishment. The Beatitudes (tells us what is) Christ’s way of life. It is written by God on a man’s soul, and that it is, at last, an eternal … homeness with God … The persecuted have the stamp of courage on their faces and in their hearts … Perhaps (there is a deeper blessing): followers of Christ, members of an agelong company foresworn, see others redeemed through their sacrifice and so fulfill their vocation. The rabbis recognized that to do a good deed for its own sake or love was to do it with a higher motive than that of reward, but neither Jesus nor the rabbis hesitated to speak of reward since God had promised it.” Materialism can imprison our hearts, minds, and wills. The desire to have materialistic things can become so great it takes control of our lives. It can take away the joy of living and cause problems in family relationships. If we live the kind of life the Lord expects us to live on earth, there are many rewards we can receive while living on this earth. But when we go to our heavenly home the rewards will be greater.
How can God’s reward be measured? It can’t be. God’s reward consists of salvation now and in the future, His salvation is identical for all His believers. Jesus said to His disciples, Assuredly I say to you. that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My namesake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life (Matthew 19:28-29). God’s goodness is out of proportion to man’s worthiness. In the Old Testament book of Lamentations 3:22-23, it says Through the Lord’s mercies, we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness. We who have invited Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior can be assured God has a steadfast love for us. It will never cease, and His mercy for us that will never come to an end.
Malachi, one of the minor prophets in his Old Testament book of Malachi 3:6 says, I am the Lord; I do not change. We can depend on that. Even when we rebel against Him if we repent of our sins, we will experience the goodness of God again.
A CHANGE IN MY LIFE
The Lord doesn’t change but sometimes He needs to change in our lives. It happened on December 30, 2011. I was standing in a parking lot close to the square of Independence, Missouri. I witnessed a vision. I saw a kite high up in the air and a boy flying the kite. For whatever reason, I realized the boy was me, and the kite was God. The string that flowed from the kite represented something I didn’t want to see. God was showing me I was trying to control Him. I sensed a warm white light all around me. God’s presence was more real than I had previously experienced. On that day God changed me. On the inside, I became a different man. With tears of joy flowing down my face I cut, so to speak, the string that flowed from the kite. I said, “Lord, take me and use me.” At that moment, I gave control of my life to Him. I continually live that experience.
MY FRIEND YOU CAN PROFESS TO BE A CHRISTIAN AND STILL NOT EXPERIENCE
A MEANINGFUL LIFE. IF YOU DO NOT GIVE HIM CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE YOU
ARE MISSING OUT ON THE GREATEST TREASURE GOD CAN GIVE YOU ON THIS EARTH.
By C. Paul Wooderson